Album Review – Biesy / Noc Lekkich Obyczajów (2017)

Enjoy this concept album about how urban life can separate us from reality and how at the same time it gives us freedom to cross its boundaries, all enfolded by first-class blackened music made in Poland.

“Biesy were born out of everyday working, urban and monotonous realities. The project explores how urban concrete life can separate you from reality, but at the same time enables you to cross its borders. This is not the place for faith – there is no time nor will. During the night people go astray and willingly drown among the masses on the streets. In the morning they fall down to create a passage for everything that is wonderfully common and hideously sincere. However, it is not certain if they even left the room.”

Those poetic words work as a classy introduction to the core essence of Black/Death Metal act Biesy, a brand new project formed in 2014 in Cracow, Poland by lead singer Stawrogin, guitarist, bassist, songwriter and lyricist PR, and drummer Maciej Pelczar. Biesy translates to “fiends” or “demons” from Polish, and from that you can imagine how dark their music should sound in their debut full-length release Noc Lekkich Obyczajów, or “night of weak morals” in English, a concept album about how urban life can separate us from reality and how at the same time it gives us freedom to cross its boundaries, as mentioned above, all enfolded by an ominous and depressive form of extreme music not recommended for the lighthearted. Add to that the concrete gray layout designed by PR himself together with Mentalporn, the menacing logo created by Ihasan, and the fact that all songs are entirely sung (or maybe I should say growled or gnarled) in Polish, and there you have a distinct, full-bodied Extreme Metal ode to everything we love and hate in our concrete jungles.

In the opening track, titled Każdego Dnia (which should translate as “every day”), ominous sounds grow in intensity until the music morphs into the most vile form of Blackened Doom you can think of, with Stawrogin sounding truly demonic on vocals while PR does an amazing job with his mesmerizing guitar lines, resulting in a cold and beautiful display of extreme music that darkly flows into a climatic ending. In W Krew (which should mean something like “in blood”), the power trio switches to a more demolishing mode, blasting a Stygian fusion of Black and Death Metal led by Maciej, who showcases all his skills by delivering both rhythmic and sluggish punches as well as infernal blast beats. In the end, it becomes impossible not to have your heart darkened by this superb hymn. And it seems like peace and happiness are definitely two items you won’t find in the music by Biesy, which is exactly the case in Powroty (or “returns” in English), even more doomed than the two previous songs and with the vociferations by Stawrogin being extremely menacing. Put differently, it’s unhappy, melancholic and visceral Blackened Doom tailored for headbanging until you crack your neck in half.

The second batch of somber sounds by Biesy begins with Czerń Nas Prosi (or “blackness calls us”), the shortest of all tracks, feeling like a satanic invocation with Maciej firing some traditional Doom Metal beats while PR sounds hellish on both guitar and bass, not to mention Stawrogin’s evil gnarls; followed by Rzucony W Przestrzeń (which translates as “thrown into space”), the longest and most obscure of all songs, starting with a deep, enraged roar by Stawrogin. Not only this is a lesson in Extreme Metal where PR is insanely dark on guitars, but its heaviness keeps growing and growing until after around four minutes there’s a creepy intermission that goes on for another four minutes until the trio returns with all their fury and malignancy, with the vocal parts getting more deranged and evil, ending in the most obscure way possible. And if you think you’re safe from Biesy after all that darkness, you’re absolutely wrong, as they have one final onslaught of Black, Death and Doom Metal to disturb your mind and soul, the title-track Noc Lekkich Obyczajów, where Maciej takes his already devilish drumming to a whole new level of dementia accompanied by the lancinating riffs by PR. This fantastic album of extreme music couldn’t have ended in a better way than this, I must say.

In summary, it doesn’t matter if you speak fluent Polish or if you don’t know a single word in this distinct language, Noc Lekkich Obyczajów (which is available for a full stream on YouTube) is definitely worth a shot. What Biesy did in the entire album, uniting the aggressive and damned sounds of Death, Black and Doom Metal with the disorders and unpredictability of life in the city in a sharp and bold manner, deserves our total recognition and respect. You can buy your copy of Noc Lekkich Obyczajów on BandCamp, at the Third Eye Temple webshop or at Discogs, and after finally having the album on your hands, you can add the perfect soundtrack to spend your deranged nights in the city.

Best moments of the album: W Krew and Noc Lekkich Obyczajów.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2017 Third Eye Temple

Track listing
1. Każdego Dnia 5:08
2. W Krew 6:38
3. Powroty 7:06
4. Czerń Nas Prosi 3:51
5. Rzucony W Przestrzeń 11:29
6. Noc Lekkich Obyczajów 7:59

Band members
Stawrogin – vocals
PR – guitars, bass
Maciej Pelczar – drums

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Album Review – Armagh / Venomous Frost MCD (2016)

Let the venomous and menacing frost of Extreme Metal generated by this young and restless four-piece act from Poland cover your body and dominate your soul.

Rating4

armagh_venomousfrost_coverGet the overpowering impact of metal music from the 80’s, the implacable and raging sound of the early days of Black and Thrash Metal the likes of Dissection, Bathory and Hellhammer, and four young musicians eager to show the world their passion for extreme music, and there you have the vigorous MCD entitled Venomous Frost, bred in the dark vaults of Warsaw, Poland by Blackened Thrash Metal horde Armagh. The band might be relatively new, being founded in 2012, and this MCD might be their first official release ever, but it feels like we’re dealing with an already established band so concise and potent the overall result is.

There is absolutely no (black) magic or any other special ingredients added to the music found in Venomous Frost, but pure Heavy Metal played by a newcomer quartet (actually, they’re now a power trio after the recent departure of guitarist Ace Hellion) that, above all things, knows exactly how to blend fury and melody in their compositions. Not only that, the old school album art, designed by Polish illustrator Robert A. von Ritter, who has already worked with bands such as Outre, Bloodthirst, In Twilight’s Embrace, and more recently with Ragehammer (featured in one of our latest reviews), is beyond precise in portraying the music by Armagh. Just hit play and you’ll find death, nihilism, war and occultism in Venomous Frost, all embraced by faultless Extreme Metal.

A demonic riff kicks off the excellent Criostail/Exmortis, which after an epic intro becomes brutal devastation blending the demonic aura of Black Metal with the always exciting turmoil generated by Thrash Metal. Moreover, Galin Soulreaper and Ace Hellion make an amazing guitar duo, with their riffs and solos transpiring ferocity and malignancy. Their devastation goes on in an old school Black Metal onslaught named Eternal Awareness, with drummer Bloodhammer sounding indeed like he’s using hammers to blast his beats. Put differently, you won’t have a single second to breathe in this high-octane chant of darkness.  And what can I say about Warbeast? They truly sound like beats unleashed from hell, blasting a vile Thrash Metal sounding enhanced by the obscure elements found in Black Metal. This newborn underground classic is perfect for some bestial circle pits and brutal headbanging, not to mention Galin’s spot-on hellish barks.

armagh_bandIn the epic Foggy Dew/Wehrwolf, you’ll be able to enjoy the best riffs of the album by far, with both Galin and Ace being absolutely on fire with their scorching instruments delivering excellent extreme music to us, while Bloodhammer and bassist Mark Usurper provide all the support needed in this exciting tune. Then we have Dark Procession, which in my opinion should be used as the soundtrack to any Satanist procession. This is the most Black Metal of all songs, especially its obscure riffs and growls, with the music slowing down a bit before all hell breaks loose and the band comes crushing again with their furious music, showcasing all band members in total sync.

The last seven minutes of the MCD are an ode to darkness, starting with Witchcraft, a fantastic cover version for Bathory’s 1984 classic. An enraged band blasts pure hatred in their excellent tribute to one of the most important bands in the history of Black Metal, with highlights to the desperate vocals by Galin and the kick-ass drumming by Bloodhammer, qualifying it to be one of the best covers of the year without a shadow of a doubt. And lastly, the title-track Venomous Frost is the icing on the (demonic) cake baked by this awesome Polish quartet, being slightly slower but as obscure and vicious as the rest of the album. In addition, I love how clear and heavy the bass lines by Mark and the drums by Bloodhammer sound throughout the entire song, helping conclude Venomous Frost on a high note and, as a consequence, keeping the flame of Polish metal more alive than ever.

More of the mischievous fusion of Black and Thrash Metal distilled by Armagh can be enjoyed at their Facebook page and YouTube channel, and their amazing debut MCD can be purchased at the official Third Eye Temple in two different versions: a regular jewel case CD limited to 100 copies or a black jewel case CD branded with serigraphy print. Let the venomous and menacing frost of extreme music generated by this young and restless four-piece act from Poland cover your entire body, and consequently dominate your soul. You won’t regret such an amazing experience in Black and Thrash Metal.

Best moments of the album: Warbeast, Foggy Dew/Wehrwolf and Witchcraft.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2016 Third Eye Temple

Track listing
1. Criostail/Exmortis 5:40
2. Eternal Awareness 3:38
3. Warbeast 4:32
4. Foggy Dew/Wehrwolf 6:23
5. Dark Procession 4:59
6. Witchcraft (Bathory cover) 2:35
7. Venomous Frost 4:46

Band members
Galin Soulreaper – vocals, guitars
Ace Hellion* – guitars
Mark Usurper – bass
Bloodhammer – drums

*No longer part of the band.

Album Review – Embrional / The Devil Inside (2015)

These Polish devils will infest your soul with their technical and brutal Death Metal.

Rating4

embrional_800x800People who know me also know how much I love dark and demonic music. And if the band playing that type of music comes from Poland it’s when things get even better, because to be fair, I’ve never seen a low-quality Polish band in my life. If you take a few seconds to think about it, superb bands such as Behemoth, Vader and Darzamat will quickly come to your mind, and we can all include Polish old school Death Metal band Embrional on that list based on the deranging assault of extreme music from their brand new album, The Devil Inside. Well, I guess the name of the album, together with the artwork designed by Mariusz Krajewski and MENTALPORN, can already provide you a sense of how much the word “deranging” matches with their music.

Fans of Deicide, Cannibal Corpse, Behemoth and all other Death and Black Metal bands who turn their instruments into an infernal pyre of heavy music will feel aflame while listening to the work by this Gliwice-based band. Vociferating topics such as possession, annihilation and death, all impregnated by the acrid smell of sulfur and tar, Embrional are extremely competent in what they do, which translates into high-end Extreme Metal perfect for enjoying with your friends at a live concert or by yourself in your car, at home or anywhere else that some extra doses of stamina and anger are more than required.

And suddenly, after Embrional open the rusty gates to their realm of Death Metal (maybe hell?) in the intro The Devil Inside, it’s time for some excellent blast beats at the “speed of darkness” in Evil’s Mucus, a great tune for slamming into the fuckin’ pit. Not only lead singer and guitarist Marcin Sienkiel has those devilish and disturbing vocals that can only be found in brutal Death Metal, but all musicians sound quite progressive for such a raw old school band, offering the listener lots of interesting breaks and tempo changes. Funeral March, although slightly slower, is truly diabolical and gives a whole new meaning to a funeral march itself, with Marcin and Rychu “Vermin” Sosnowski making sure their guitar lines are in line with all that darkness while drummer Kamil Bracichowicz displays an arsenal of evil beats. And guess what? Bassist Michał “Soulbleed” Połetek also joins that dark side with his deep bass lines.

embrional_bandEmbrional keep firing their wicked sounding in The Abyss, which sounds almost like Progressive Death Metal but still violent and raw as expected, and get ready because after around two minutes it’s time to get into the pit of evil created by the band. Then after a quick instrumental intro entitled Sadness, we have sheer brutality in the form of music in the superb track In Darkness, which makes me wonder if those guys are mad or furious at something so violent it is. What Kamil does behind his drum kit in this song is amazingly bestial and will make you headbang like crazy, while Michał once again gains the spotlight with his awesome job on the bass guitar. And Marcin guides the Embrional horde yet again with another Stygian tune, Behind The Mask Of Sanity, which leans towards Blackened Death Metal or even Black Metal, offering the listener some interesting guitar solos amidst all the savagery and fury presented.

Their violent complexity continues to be outstanding in the following track, curiously named 910, which can be simply described as a fuckin’ massacre. It sounds like if the band decided to “blacken” their music to a greater extent, with riffs and drums faster than before while vocals get even more gruesome. Right after that furious onfall it’s time to reach the deepest nightmares of mankind with Madman’s Curse, with lots of Doom Metal elements added to enhance the desired insanity of the song, followed by Callousness, a short and straightforward Death Metal song where riffs and vocal lines sound really strong, while drums keep a constant heavy rhythm leading to a violent ending. And the duo that closes the album doesn’t disappoint in terms of cruelty: Venom presents us a creepy intro with flies buzzing before turning into another feast of evil, with Kamil once again relentlessly showcasing his drumming skills, and if your head doesn’t hurt after this song you’re not human; and how about a woman crying in despair and sorrow to start the last track, Whores, Drugs and Brain Dead? With hardcore harsh vocals and a Slayer-ish vibe, it’s an awesome way to make even the most cautious person slam into the circle pit.

Go check the band’s YouTube channel where you can listen to The Devil Inside in its entirety, but more important than that, visit the Old Temple Shop or BandCamp to get your copy of the album, or the Third Eye Temple Big Cartel to grab the limited edition CD or the old school tape version of it. And, of course, get ready to have your soul infested with the vicious Death Metal brought into being by these skillful Polish devils.

Best moments of the album: Evil’s Mucus, In Darkness and 910.

Worst moments of the album: Callousness.

Released in 2015 Old Temple/Third Eye Temple

Track listing
1. The Devil Inside 1:07
2. Evil’s Mucus 4:01
3. Funeral March 4:51
4. The Abyss 4:00
5. Sadness 0:32
6. In Darkness 5:58
7. Behind The Mask Of Sanity 3:57
8. 910 4:08
9. Madman’s Curse 3:59
10. Callousness 2:25
11. Venom 5:13
12. Whores, Drugs and Brain Dead 2:54

Band members
Marcin Sienkiel – vocals, guitars
Rychu “Vermin” Sosnowski – guitars
Michał “Soulbleed” Połetek – bass
Kamil Bracichowicz – drums